Dragon 391: Pyromancy

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Can someone explain how to use the information presented in the Pyromancy article today?  The article lists class features and paragon path features without the accompanying class or paragon path information?

Is this intended to be used with essentials?  I don't have my essentials books on hand yet (Amazon UK being slow to ship) so I can't match this information with what is in the books.  If so, how would we utilise these class features with a non-essentials wizard? 
I'm seeing the same problem with the "Staff Fighters" Article. 

As someone who really enjoys using the 4e ruleset pre-Essentials, and someone who has always loved the principle of quarterstaff-based combat, I am dismayed that the two most recent articles seem to have nothing whatsoever to offer me - no feats, no new paragon paths, no items, no generic "Fighter", "Ranger", "Rogue", etc. powers.  Everything seems taylored toward the Essentials 'subclasses'. 

I guess we'll have to see what rules are published for integrating these different variant rules with the originals. 

SK
These are articles to support a just-released book, the same way we got Psionic Traditions after PHB3, and we're getting Dark Sun articles following the release of that book. It's perfectly in line with how they've supported books in the past.
I've linked to this thread as the official discussion thread for the Pyromancy article.

If you would be so kind, please use the standard format when starting a discussion thread in this subforum.  Thank you.

DnDi_Large.pngDragon 391
Pyromancy: The Magic of Fire

by Mike Mearls

Many schools of magic exist, and many wizards exist who study those schools of magic, but none have quite the reputation of a pyromancer.

Talk about this Article here.

391_pyromancer.jpg
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@Asmodeus: Oops, sorry, thought I was but I just copied the subject rather than embedding the other article details, will pay more attention!


I wasn't even certain this was essentials related, it's not spelled out clearly in the article and for those who don't have essentials yet it is very confusing.  I take it there are no rules in the essentials books for using this new class features with traditional classes from the earlier PHB's?  I hope we'll see rules for integrating them soon if not.

I also would like to know how to use this Essentials build crap with my standard PHB classes. Can the features just be tacked onto a Wizard, or should they replace feats or powers at specific levels?

My DDi subscription ends in less than 30 days. There have been enough indications and undertones in editorials and forum posts that Essentials is the new "model" for 4E content moving forward. I don't think I'm going to renew.
Yeah I'm lost...

Is Enegmatic mage a paragon path? Is it presented in Essentials? Are paragon paths now getting coices of what to take? Or is enegmatic mage new in this article? In which case what are the pre-requisites? Is this offering anything at all to the wizard?

Or is this more of "Yes you can use your old stuff with with the new characters, but you can't use any new stuff with your old characters."?

I also would like to know how to use this Essentials build crap with my standard PHB classes. Can the features just be tacked onto a Wizard, or should they replace feats or powers at specific levels?

My DDi subscription ends in less than 30 days. There have been enough indications and undertones in editorials and forum posts that Essentials is the new "model" for 4E content moving forward. I don't think I'm going to renew.



I think having Essentials articles right in the midst of the Essentials release is a very different thing from assuming that it will reflect all articles from here on out.

To clarify for everyone - yes, you pretty much need Essentials to use these articles. Just like you needed Arcane Power to use articles about familiars, for example.

If it is a big deal, sure, feel free to not subscribe. I'd recommend checking back in a few months when the Essentials release is past, though, cause I imagine that we'll return to seeing a good mix of articles and content by that time.
Ennimatic Mage is the PP for Mage Wizards in HotFL. The first three items Appprentence, Expert and Master are class features they gain as they level. All of them require you to use the Mage build so your existing Wizards can't use them.

Yeah it's harder to get if you don't have the book yet.
Wizards: As you can see, it is necessary to better describe articles like this.  Please state: this is a new build for the Mage, presented in the Heroes of Forgotten Lands.  The Enigmatic Mage Paragon Path also requires a preface.  Even if that PP is in HotFL and this just builds on it (I don't think that's the case), the article should explain.  Edit: I see that is the case indeed, huh.  Even I was confused.

Anyways, that aside, I think this is good content.  My one quibble is the "ignores fire resistance" feature.  Resistances are fraught with annoying problems like potentially causing entire characters like the pyromancer to become weaksauce against fire themed creatures, so I understand the need for this rule.  I just don't like to imagine trying to prepare against one or more evil pyromancers only to discover that all that resistance is for naught... its dramatically inappropriate.  

A better solution?  Not sure... ideally, resistance is removed from the game in favor of other ways demonstrating robustness, but that won't happen this edition.   Perhaps the resistance reduction of the pyromancer is only 5 per tier, though that doesn't really solve the problem.  Another for fun (if complicated) option is to allow some extra affect against enemies that are fire resistant, with the justification that they have aspected themselves with fire and can thus be compelled or something.
Wizards: As you can see, it is necessary to better describe these articles.  Please state: this is a new build for the Mage, presented in the Heroes of Forgotten Lands.  The Enigmatic Mage Paragon Path also requires a preface.  Even if that PP is in HotFL and this just builds on it (I don't think that's the case), the article should explain.  Edit: I see that is the case indeed, huh.  Even I was confused.


I think this is some good feedback.  I'm going to try and make sure that this gets included in the weekly report.

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Wizards: As you can see, it is necessary to better describe these articles.  Please state: this is a new build for the Mage, presented in the Heroes of Forgotten Lands.  The Enigmatic Mage Paragon Path also requires a preface.  Even if that PP is in HotFL and this just builds on it (I don't think that's the case), the article should explain.  Edit: I see that is the case indeed, huh.  Even I was confused.


I think this is some good feedback.  I'm going to try and make sure that this gets included in the weekly report.



Sweet thanks.
By the way, I just read the Staff Fighter article, and it is much less confusing.  It probably could use "this is for the Knight, which is a build in HotFL" instead of just "Knight", but its most of the way there.  
Can I ask why pyromancy is an entire school?  Seems it is more of a subschool of evocation.
Thanks for the clarification guys.  Yes, I think this is something that could have been clarified better, as you can probably tell I'm not a regular on the boards, this is one of the few articles that has made me confused enough to have to come say something!

With the knowledge that this is essentials based I'm now less confused, however it does raise the question I would like to see addressed which is 'How do we use this data with our old characters?' since I'm guessing how we go about adding features to our old classes isn't info covered in HotFL books given that it wouldn't be relevant to new players
Can I ask why pyromancy is an entire school?  Seems it is more of a subschool of evocation.


This demonstrates that the designers are not feeling beholden to a set structure.  Much like the alignment wheel was interesting but very restricting, or building monsters and NPCs with the same rules as PCs is interesting but restricting.

Pyromancer seemed a fun concept, so they went with it.  Sure evocation mages are similar, enjoying the process of blowing stuff up in various ways, but its not the same.  And the game is richer for it. 
Thank you for the clarification that this is for essentials, as I have not yet had an opportunity to pick it up, reading the article was frustrating.   I initially saw it as a tag on to wizards but when I didn't see any downside (i.e. replace X ability with the apprentice one) it led me to think there was more to it than that.

I think it's a neat idea - do a little pallet swap and I can make a cyromancer that does something similar too.
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Can I ask why pyromancy is an entire school?  Seems it is more of a subschool of evocation.


Hopefully my copy of HotFL arrives this week so I can know for sure, but I believe that mages dabble in multiple schools. So, if you really, really like blowing things up, you can progress in both pyromancy and evocation. And that's great.
Can I ask why pyromancy is an entire school?  Seems it is more of a subschool of evocation.


Hopefully my copy of HotFL arrives this week so I can know for sure, but I believe that mages dabble in multiple schools. So, if you really, really like blowing things up, you can progress in both pyromancy and evocation. And that's great.



You choose a school of magic when you get the Apprentice Mage feature, once at 1st level and again at 4th level.  So a Mage indeed does get two specialties, and is usually a bit better at one than the other.
For the sake of it a slightly more complete reply.  Yes this is an essentials build..but as for porting this and the staff stuff (besides the last 2 feats) over into 4.0, sorry thats going to be a no go.  Basically to use an example from the first players handbook to give you an idea of exactly how these change things.

these are basically saying 'if you chose inspiring presence you may change the healing it does into temporary hitpoints'.  Only an inspiring warlord could ever take this alternate ability..as only an inspiring warlord uses inspiring presence.


In other words they are directly changing how one of the class features you get for that build of the class works.  The paragon stuff is because the mage build has a paragon class made for it, that works off some of the earlier choices you might have made.  So they had to put in a pyromancy option there to make it complete.
kelwyn’s enigmatic mage . . . niiiiiiiiice
Can I ask why pyromancy is an entire school?  Seems it is more of a subschool of evocation.


Back in 2e, the Tome of Magic introduced two new specializations, the Wild Mage and Elementalist.  They worked bascially the same as other specialist mages like Evokers and Enchanters and Illusionists with the whole get a minor special ability, restrtict your spell list a little to be able to cast extra spells, etc.  The Elementalist was furhter specialized into Aeromancer, Geomancer, Hydromancer, and Pyromancer.  This is just carrying on that tradition.

Plus, fire is just more iconic in people's minds than a lot of things.
That's interesting. A new Class Build that only takes up 4 pages of Dragon....promising. Can't wait to see new Thief or Assassin Builds. Or Knight ...as easy as can be.

Has a retro-feel of the 2E Elemantal Mage which was favoring many Blasting  Spells from the Evocation School (Burning Hands, Fireball etc...) but because they were regrouped under the Fire Elemental School...

More Mickey more...!!!

Despite not being a fan of essentials, I will agree that the ability to turn out easy new builds for these classes is quite interesting.  I'm still not a fan of the overly wordy format though, and the paragon path features interaction with the PP from the book is also strange and not explained in the article.

I also love the shardmind pic, probably the best one to date. I'll overlook the fact that yet again its a red one (they do come in other colors).

Loved the new build, but it seems odd that the background involves primordials, elemental lords, etc. but the power source is still arcane. The pyromancer is practically screaming to be an "Arcane and Elemental Controller" (just as the executioner is a "Martial and Shadow Striker").

Is this another sign that the elemental power source is well and truly dead?
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